tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 7, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
fraud. that's 0.0006%. what a joke. voter id laws here in mississippi and elsewhere aren't necessary. in fact, they're a step backwards as we celebrate the progress we made, we must also protect that progress. and we must do it with all we have. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. have a good weekend. "hardball" starts right now. motive. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this friday evening report from "the bergen record." quote, governor christie's administration orchestrated an extensive campaign over two years that involved gifts to ft.
lee, including port authority funded shuttle bus, snowplowing, pothole repair and emergency radios to convince the borough's mayor to offer his endorsement of the governor during his reelection campaign. mayor mark sokolich said in his most extensive comments to date on the george washington bridge scandal. when sokolich did not offer his endorsement to the governor, he says he was punished by paralyzing traffic jams at the bridge that were ordered by christie's appointees at the port authority during five days last september. also late this friday evening, politico released the following story. he has done it again. the governor of new jersey has denied being the governor of new jersey. the trend of this conduct continues, even as i speak it. remember that memo that the governor's office released last week mocking and deriding the high school behavior of christie's top accuser, david wildstein? remember that stuff about him suing the high school kid over something to do with his high school, how he was accused by his teacher of being deaccept snif remember all that? remember saw it was all proven
to be a total distortion of fact? guess what? according to politico, after a week of letting that cheap attack on his number one accuser sit out there, people around christie tonight, god nose who they are because they refuse to give their name say christie didn't sign off on that cheap little memo. why didn't christie say this all week? why didn't he let it sit out there during the radio interview he did? why does everything coming from christie's office, like closing down the bridge lanes and allegedly threatening the mayor of hoboken and all the rest get so neatly denied some time later by the governor? how come we only know it didn't come with the governor's approval when it begins to stink bad enough? this isn't stopping. this continued effort to get stuff done because the governor wants it done only to be told it wasn't him, it was somebody else, it was his deputy communications director, it was bridget or it was david or it was bill or it was christina. when it is going to be that it happened because of the one calling the shots over all of these people?
when are people going to stop taking the fall for a governor's office that only seems to operate under the rule that the governor had nothing to do with anything? eugene robinson is a pulitzer prize winning columnist for "washington post" and an msnbc contributor, and jonathan capehart is the opinion writer at "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst. i want to go over these two big bombshells tonight. the first one of course is for once finally now the mayor, sokolich of ft. lee, the man who you can say is the victim of this whole thing has come out and said this long wooing campaign when all these little goodies, this cornucopia of goodies came from trenton, and then when they didn't buy him, according to him that. >> didn't get him bought, then they went nuts. >> right. >> and shut down his bridge. >> the suggestion was it was punishment for not giving endorsement. but we didn't know about the wooing of mayor sokolich. so it does establish, it certainly gives weight to this whole theory. >> and guess what else it does. it kills the alibi of the governor, he wasn't on my radar. >> he wasn't on my radar.
who wanted an endorsement from him anyway? >> jonathan, this point, everybody wants the story to be understandable. and one of the jobs i have here is to keep them understandable, if they are. this one has come down to from the beginning, the seed here, this hurricane story is that this guy punished a mayor through his office, whether he did it by instrument or by general habitual teaching of his staff how to behave, got it done, because the guy wouldn't play ball with him and set him up for a national victory which is what christie was after here. >> and publicly saying he had no idea, had nothing to do with it, didn't know anything, doesn't know anybody, nothing. yet it seems like every week there is another story that shows that of course he knew. >> who is approving the special radios and all that stuff for his operation if it wasn't the governor? >> right. but chris, last week the story was from "the new york times" that chris christie had a binder full of mayors. they would hand him this binder
with the mayors, the projects in their towns. >> it sounds like -- >> but all the information he would ever need. >> there he is on the radio interview. he had an hour to talk about this. explain he wouldn't let the word go forward that he was trashing his high school classmate, accuse him of being a d-bag, oh, he is the kind of guy that sues, lies to his teacher. and then a week later, according to people familiar, he didn't do that. and he won't even step forward and say he didn't do it. >> he is not saying he didn't put it out. it's people familiar with the situation who say he didn't put this out. >> sourcing on this story if it's the governor? >> absolutely. and wasn't he asked about it during the radio interview, the first interview after all this? and that's the time when you say what was done in that memo was wrong. my staff has been punished. that's not the way we should do things. he was on much firmer ground friday night with the very terse
statement he said in reaction to wildstein than that two-page memo that came out the next day. >> this is just really weird, first of all, that these people are unidentified that are saying this that. >> he didn't put the memo out. >> and how can you believe that he didn't know, that he somehow disagreed with this statement or thought it went too far. he let it stand out there for a week. and how can we believe, chris, that any statement could come out of the governor's office about this issue that wasn't vetted by chris christie, by his lawyers, by his wife. >> it reminds me of the north koreans in the korean war who would send people out in the first ranks without any rifles. let them take the bullets. >> if it did come out without his knowing about it, he is the worst administrator i've ever heard of. >> does he read "the new york times"? does he pick up the paper and know what people are putting out in his name? all it takes is who did that? take that back. i didn't do it. from the politico story tonight, quote, christie's aides did not
run the document, which took the extraordinary step of highlighting incidents from wildstein's high school days by the governor before they sent out. according to two people familiar with the matter. instead, someone tucked the high school lines into the daily briefing e-mail to the governor. so why are we getting this bouquet of denial a week after the memo went out is my question? a little bouquet coming out on a friday night. just got it, just moved. >> i think we're all speechless to try to understand what the hell is happening in trenton. >> how come the governor is not responsible for anything? >> i don't understand how it could have gone out without his approval. and i don't understand why someone is denying it now, because it so lacks credibility, and makes the governor seem out of touch with what is going on in his office. >> it actually damages the governor even more. it makes him look out of control, actually. not him, but his administration. the wheels are coming off the christie administration.
>> here is what i think is going to be the story of the weekend in britain, and your papers as well, the post. i think at times everybody else in new jersey is going to cover a story tomorrow about the admission by the mayor of ft. lee, the guy who is the brunt of this attack, or the closing down of bridge traffic where he for the first time explains this attempt to woo him, the seduction campaign, which led to this climatic moment when they realized in trenton after all the blandishments, after all the stuff we've sent this character, he is still not playing ball. and then you go, well, now it does make sense that they would do something pretty horrendous to stick it at him. >> right. hence the traffic problems in ft. lee. that follows logically from what we now know about the courtship. and they were disappointed suitors at that point. and they were angry. >> they probably figured they paid for service. >> yeah, right. they thought they had the guy. >> and my question, how does the
governor now in his next interview on radio, maybe monday again deny he wasn't paying attention to the ft. lee mayor with all this stuff they were throwing up at him? >> it sort of flies in the face of everything we know, or i should say everything we've been told. >> right. >> by christie's image packagers of the way he is. he is somebody who is take charge. he is somebody who is in control. he is something who knows everything that is going on. and now all of the sudden -- >> oh, there he is in his ralph lauren costume, whatever. here we go. >> pretend like he doesn't know what is going on. >> you're the prosecutor in this case. you go i want motive. and you say well they seem to keep pushing him with stuff and gifts and bouquets of stuff. and everything they could send up there, pothole fillers and all this little courtesies. and then he didn't play ball. >> uh-huh, right. >> they're putting their pieces together. >> right. they're putting pieces together. it seems like a logical motive for what subsequently occurred. and that's a powerful narrative that makes sense that is going
to have to be countered. >> thank you, gene robinson. friday seems to be the night they put out all this stuff and they're trying to coffer it up. thank you, eugene robinson. thank you, jonathan capehart. coming up, more on the man at the center of this scandal, david wildstein. he is the guy christie has been criticizing, or somebody in his office. he is also christie's worst nightmare. that's why he is going after him. it's been done again. rand paul tries to smear hillary clinton by going after bill clinton. he called him a predator again. this guy just trying to curry favor with those on the right or does he think this stuff will actually work in a primary situation? we'll see. and look. who sees no obvious reason why he shouldn't run for president, joe biden. well one obvious reason is hillary clinton. is he ready to run against hillary clinton? that's my issue. i know it seems strange. i think he is basically wanting us to believe he is willing to go up against her for a lot of reasons. finally, let me finish tonight with how the pattern in the christie matter is so clear now, crystal clear.
there are two states where democrats hope to pick up a senate seat this year, georgia and kentucky. we have some new polling from kentucky. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. the bluegrass poll shows democratic challenger alison lundergan grimes with a four-point lead over mitch mcconnell. she is at 46. he is down to 42. how bad it is for mcconnell right now? well, his approval rating in the state, his home state is down to 32, two points lower than president obama's in kentucky. and we'll be right back.
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blog politics nj include the same players at the center of this bridge scandal, including christie himself. quote, wildstein's sources, including the u.s. attorney at the time, chris christie, plied him with tips and poured out their souls in e-mails and instant message conversations at all hours, knowing little more about him than an e-mail address. bridget anne kelly, quote, was one of wally edge's best source. bill stepien, quote, was one of the young operatives whose career he nurtured. in other words, david wildstein knows where the bodies are buried in jersey. and that store of knowledge could become a very dangerous weapon against governor christie in the weeks ahead. brian murphy was the managing editor of politics nj where he worked for david wildstein who then used the pen name wally edge. thanks for joining us tonight. i want you to comment on two earlier stories quickly. one, it seems like mayor sokolich is now talking. he put out the word with "the bergen record" late today. it's in the paper now that he had all kinds of motive, the
governor, to basically stick to it ft. lee's mayor sokolich. >> right. >> the trenton folks, the governor were giving him all kinds of gifts thauchlt were giving him shuttle buses, fixing potholes, and found out he wasn't going to play ball with him which to me makes a motive for crashing down on the bridge there and closing lanes. the second big story, of course, is that christie somehow a week after letting it sit out there is denying his trashing of david wildstein in that memo that went out last week. all of the sudden after doing the radio interview, after watching news coverage all week, he all of the sudden, somebody close to him i guess decides, i'm sorry, the phrase is someone familiar with him has decided he had nothing to do with that. what is it with christie, who never seems to be -- is he caspar the ghost? is he never anywhere? what is his m.o., i'm not here, i didn't do that, but everything i want done, damn it, gets done. can you be a bully and be invisible at the same time? that's my question. >> yeah, i think that's bizarre,
isn't it? the story and the fact that it dropped on saturday night. now we're getting the second piece of it at 4:30 in the afternoon on friday, six days later, it really makes me wonder. i had said that it couldn't have possibly been the professional communications staff because no professional communications specialist would do an e-mail like that and send that kind of thing out. it is still hard for me to believe that that came out of mike drewniak's office. no matter what they're seeing now, it seemed panicky. it seems like something done in haste. >> why does the governor always wait until something begins to stink before he denies it? >> yeah. >> he wasn't out there denying anything with the bridge when it was happening. he wasn't sending the mayor down to hoboken and saying you don't play ball on my real estate deal. he is denying this later yet realtime people are always talking in his name.
>> right. that's right. >> in realtime, the lieutenant governor is saying the governor wants this done. in realtime, the bridge gets closed because somehow bridget kelly gets word it's time for a traffic problem. and wildstein gets the word, somehow obey what the governor's office wants done. so he is like a frankenstein. he creates this monster of activity that keeps going on all the time. and only when it looks bad or gets caught he says oh, i had nothing to do with that. who is the man behind the curtain? >> in some ways we're trying to figure out where is the perimeter in this office, right. who is going to be the person who knows what is going on and who is going to be able to tell us what christie knew and what christie ordered, right, and how deep christie was involved in this. because the sense that -- the sense that i get out of trenton is that there are three or four people who work around the governor, who talk to him. and that these people sort of relay to the junior staff what is going on. and one of those people --
>> kevin o'dowd and mckenna. >> and stepien. >> they can't lie. they don't have a client. they're government officials. so how do they protect -- he likes to say only two reports, a you like to say. >> right. >> but wildstein here, look at this guy. it's in his face. i'm not going to get screwed, that face says to me. >> exactly. >> i'm not your fall guy, mr. governor. and i did go to high school with you. and stop calling me a zero or a nerd in this stuff. if i were wildstein, i would be getting a little mad and say stop putting trash talk on me. here comes a week later somebody around the governor says we better disown that trash talk against this guy because he is going to be perhaps the star witness. >> and chris, have you noticed in that "times" article where i should say i'm quote and steve kornacki is also quoted. the one thing i also noticed working for wally edge, working for david wildstein who i called wally edge at the time. >> you were like charlie's angels, weren't you? you weren't charlie's angels. >> i didn't know who it was.
i never had to lie to a source. and that was easy. there was a better way for me to do the job. >> and christie was talking to you guys, talking to the editor of this, the wally edge is his name. all this was going on, and the governor, in other words, was talking, didn't know he was talking to wildstein. so he knew wildstein better than he admitted because he didn't know he was talking to him all the time. isn't that weird? >> yeah. >> i didn't know him since high school, but i was feeding him stuff for his online column all these months. >> i'm not sure whether christie knew wally's true identity at the time. he certainly knew by the time he appointed david wildstein to the port authority. but the thing that -- the thing that i would point out in "the new york times" article is that one of the things about working for wally edge was you knew, and he befriended people who were junior staff on campaigns. that's how he met me. he liked staff. and one of the rules was you never go after staff, right. >> because? >> principles are responsible for the actions of their staff.
>> that's my value. i worked in politics for a long time. i worked a long time in politics. and every time some staffer gets blamed, i say wait a minute, the fish rises from the top. you can't assume that that person wasn't carrying out their duties. even scooter libby with the vice president. don't tell me he was out robbing gas stations for himself. he was doing the work of the boss. there. >> are rules in this, right. if you operate with that ethic, if that is sort of the organizing, that's one of your principles when you go into this business, you're not going to look kindly on letting someone like bridget kelly be looking at five years in prison and letting this stop at wildstein, baroni, bridget kelly and bill stepien. >> does he have the fire in his belly to fight back with his attorney? do you think wildstein -- if you were up against him like the governor is right now and he is trashing him, and he is trashing bridget, he is making statements against people that makes me believe they're going to testify against him. so he has to undermine them like
a pre-event operation, a preventative war. would you be afraid of them as witnesses? >> yes. the claim in the letter from his attorney wasn't "i have evidence." it's that evidence exists. and presumably, he knows -- he may not be in possession of it, or maybe it's a copy of something that is between two other parties that he is aware of. but he is suggesting that -- he knows that there is paper out there, that there is something out there that is implicating. and christie's -- their response is, well, what does he have? and the question i would like to ask is, right, well, what could he have? what could be out there. >> they want to know as soon as they can. you're great to come on. thanks, brian murphy. >> thanks a lot, chris. >> all this news. i didn't think we would have all this piling on tonight of news which we got so much of tonight. coming up next, so long to a friend. yeah. jay leno, what a night last
night was. very emotional, and very genuine for a good guy. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love,
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audience. you folks have been just incredibly loyal. this is tricky. we wouldn't be on the air without you people. secondly, this has been the greatest 22 years of my life. [ applause ] >> that's jay leno saying goodbye to "the tonight show" last night in a sendoff that was ever bit as gracious as it was heartfelt there was much to celebrate about a guy who has been an american institution for over two decades now. i can certainly say jay leno was always at the top of his game. when it came to my favorite subject politics, and he brought back some of those greatest hits in his final show. >> so for whatever it's worth, that's what i think. i would like to say one other thing on another subject. >> this is the last thing i'm going to say. i don't think god's through with me. ♪ don't get fooled again
>> can't get fooled again. ♪ no, no, no >> can't get fooled again. >> i look forward to continuing this dialogue in the months ahead. thank you very much, everybody. >> everybody see that? did you see it? ♪ ♪ i just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe ♪ >> great stuff. many of the folks who couldn't be there last night put together farewell videos with plenty of advice about what jay should do next. >> jay, do what i do. use your downtime to paint. i love it. check it out. >> you know, jay, i was once the host of a late night show myself, emmy award winning, critically acclaimed. but there came a time when i was
replaced by a younger guy, that no-talent greg kinnear. but you know what? you have to learn to deal with it. hello, doctor! >> jay, you've made a whole lot of jokes about me over the years, but do not worry, i'm not upset. on a totally unrelated note, i've decided to make you my new ambassador to antarctica. hope you got a warm coat, funny man. >> well, the night was jay's, and he earned it. in the end, his final signoff was a fitting tribute to "the tonight show" itself, the program he inherited from an i'd zoll who made him a legend, and it made him a legend. that show will go on, of course. but as emotional as jay was, he showed real class last night. >> it's been it's been a great institution for 60 years. i'm so glad i got to be a part of it. but it really is time to go.
hand it off to the next guy. it really is. in closing, i want to quote the greatest guy to ever do this job. he said i bid you all a heartfelt good night. go get help! i have my reasons. look, you don't have to feel trapped with our raise your rate cd. if our rate on this cd goes up, yours can too. oh that sounds nice. don't feel trapped with the ally raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. [ screaming ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the bold, all-new nissan rogue with intuitive all-wheel drive. because winter needs a hero. ♪
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i'm milissa rehberger. here is what is happening. latest figures show the economy added 113,000 jobs last month, far fewer than expected. the unemployment rate ticked loewer to 6.6%. president obama signed a farm bill into law earlier. he says the measure will promote agriculture and ensure that children don't go hungry. and the state department says it's deeply concerned that an american held in north korea has been moved into a labor camp. he has been held for over a year and is in failing health. now back to "hardball." rand paul has an answer to the charge that republicans have a problem with female voters because their candidates keep saying stupid things about women. his response, that is senator rand paul is, oh, yeah, well, you've got bill clinton. senator paul has attacked the
former president as a predator three times in recent days. here he is today in an interview on c-span going a step further. he says democrats should give back any money bill clinton raises for them. let's watch. >> the democrats can't say we're the great defenders of women's rights in the workplace, and we will defend you against some kind of abusive boss that uses their position of authority to take advantage of a young woman when the leader of their party, the leading fundraiser in the country is bill clinton, who was a perpetrator of that kind of sexual harassment. you know, so they can't have it both ways. so i really think that anybody who wants to take money from bill clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. in fact, i think they should give the money back. if they want to take a position on women's rights, by all means do, but you can't do it and take it from a guy who is using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace. >> well, earlier this week on a
right-wing website, senator paul again labeled clinton the predator again. he used that word. let's listen. >> a predator, a sexual predator, basically. repetitive, there is dozens or at least a half dozen public women who have come forward. some of them did sue the job place. >> he can't go unnoticed that senator paul is planning to run for president, most certainly against hillary clinton. he seems to be building street cred with the right wing by showing she not afraid to take on the clintons, both of them. is this a smart strategy? joy reid, the new host of the reed report. that's going to be great. and john, the author of double down. i want to know yours theory. why is he repeatedly calling bill clinton, the former
president and possibly first man or first gentleman of the next administration a sexual predator who continues to do it. why is he doing this? >> and it's absolutely calculated. you left out one, his wife actually did the same thing in an interview with vogue magazine in january. so this is a calculated move by the pauls. i think reason number one, allisison lundergan grimes, who right now beating mitch mcconnell by four points in a poll by the biggest newspaper the louis curryville dispatch. i think rand paul wants to get the chits in with mcconnell. if he can get credit for helping to hobble what could be the best asset that grimes has against mcconnell, he'll get a lot of credit with the republican party. >> joy, so what you have done here, you thought through the scenario. bill clinton, the former president arrives in town. first question he gets tagged with by the local press is are you a predator. >> there you go. >> our senator here called you a predator three times. what is your reaction. >> exactly.
then the paper says clinton denies being predator, or whatever. john, i think this is an attempt to show remember when muhammed ali went up against sonny, you big ugly bear. everybody says my god, what a way to hype a fight. he is not afraid of him. i think it's part of the trash talk they do in weigh-ins during heavy boxing. your thoughts. >> i think you're exactly right. if you think where the republican party is right now, it is desperate to win back in 2016. there is a fair amount of fear at the formidableness of hillary clinton as the presumptive democratic nominee. i don't know if we can go quite that far to say that. she is certainly far and away the front-runner if she decides to get into the race. he is trying to show the republican party that he is not afraid of the clintons and he will take them on in a full-throated way. the republican party likes the idea of a nominee who will take on whoever the democratic stand bearer is in a full-throated
way. that's what fueled newt gingrich's 2012 race. i think rand paul is trying to demonstrate to people that he can go toe to toe with people and he will not back down. and that builds up some degree of credibility with the primary electorate and the republican party. >> joy, i think one of the things you have to be concerned about certainly in these times, very sensitivity questions about men being big shots, too much big shots of course like the old days. and the question you have to ask, is it smart to go after the husband, well, he is really going to be a big role player here and i'm going hit him. it is somehow appropriate. i think if he cuts the chance of being tagged like that is to say i'm not going after him as a future first husband or hillary's husband, whoever you want to put it. i'm going after him as a fundraiser. >> right. >> and therefore, somehow that gives me the free shot. i'm just trying to figure out how smart this guy is, how not smart he is. >> i think it's very calculated. i think he is trying to basically take bill clinton, who was the best, let's face it, surrogate that president barack obama had in that reelection in 2012, but was the worst
surrogate that hillary clinton had in 2008. and he is trying to hobble him as an effective surrogate and effective fundraiser. he is trying to make it difficult for democrats to use bill clinton the way they were able to use him in 2012. if he can make it hard for alison lundergan grimes to do it in this cycle, it will help mitch mcconnell. hillary clinton this time is not going to do what she did in '08. if she runs again, she is going to run full force that she is a woman and on the aspirations of women. that is what is going to fuel her run. this is the rand paul attempt to undercut that, destroy bill clinton as a surrogate and make it almost impossible for her to run in that way. in that way it's very calculated. if it works with grimes, i think he is saying to the republican party we can roll this out in 2016 against hillary. >> well, the big question about this being a shot at bill clinton about being a sexual predator, what any has to do with secretary clinton, who is clearly thinking about running for president. listen to this exchange with paul. >> do you think that if hillary
runs, that somehow she will have to answer for some of that in any way? >> well, you know, all the time candidates are asked to return money if an unsavory character gives you money. what if that unsavory character is your husband? what is that is bill clinton raising money for people across-country. and what if he were someone who were guilty of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior at the workplace, which obviously having sex with an intern in the office is inappropriate by any standard. >> this is going inside, john. unsavory sexual harassment. he has all the details there. it's like an indictment of the guy. and the question i put to joy, you know, hillary clinton, if joy is right, this will be a lot about the first woman president to be. it will be a lot about that. how do you tag him when a tough reporter comes up to rand paul and says why are you going after the husband, and it is fair game to say well, he'll be living in the white house? i don't know how this is going
to go. i think any attack is generally a smart move in politics when you're up against somebody ahead of you. as nixon used to say, you always punch up. you punch the big guy. but hillary clinton is also punching up. if you punch a former president, you're taking on somebody bigger than you. i guess they're trying to kill the idea that bill clinton is an eisenhower figure that expects reference. he is not above that. this guy is fair game. >> there is some of that for sure. look, bill clinton is fair game in the sense that he is one of the most popular democrats in the country in the democratic party along with president obama and first lady michelle obama. hillary clinton, and bill clinton. they're the foremost popular democrats in the country. he is a huge superstar. he played a huge role in the 2012 race. and he will inevitably play a big role in the 2016 race there is no way around it. not because he is a fundraiser, but because he sucks up so much media attention. if you're rand paul, the first thing you have to do is get nominated to the republican party. it's cost-free politics to
attack bill clinton within the republican nominating electorate. whether this is a successful strategy that he would even try to carry forward if he even got the republican nomination, who knows. but right now, this far out, it's a cost-free exercise as you put it in kind of preflight theatrics of a muhammed ali type. and there is just no -- there is no downside to him within the republican party in doing this. >> do you think bill clinton is going to forget -- yjoy, do you think he is going to forget he called him a sexual predator, an unsavory character? >> and first of all, can we stop infant sizing monica lewinsky? she was 22. that implication that she was underage, that she wasn't even 21, that not going to play well with women going after the husband instead of the actual candidate as if she doesn't matter more. i don't think would play well in a general election, with the general elector. but i think it is true, and john is right. in the republican base, this helps him. it doesn't hurt him at all with
the religious right. he can knit together sort of his libertarian following by saying well, we're not libertine as try to knit that together with the religious right there is no cost for it i think in the primary. but it sends a message, i think, that is infantalizing of monica lewinsky and dismissing hillary that doesn't help at all. if way want to talk about family members, then it's fair game i guess for democrats to look at his dad and the newsletters that don't really help him. he is going to howard university, then it's a fair game to ask him about the newsletters. >> i'm sure they'll be talked about there. you know what? this is politics, and it's tough. and i'll tell you one thing about rand paul. he ain't stupid there is something about the guy that makes think he is going to be the nominee. i'll tell you. he's got ted cruz beaten by a mile in brainpower and smarts sensitivity. as we all agree, he may be talking to the very people he has to talk to, the iowa republican caucus attendee, the new hampshire tough gritty type up there, and the south carolinian who is farther to the south than you want to know.
thank you, joy reid and thank you john heilemann. up next, biden is so interesting. this is like the benign version of confronting the clintons, if you will. very benign. like i'm in this thing. why shouldn't i be, as opposed to rand paul taking nasty shots. i think it's fascinating how he is positioning himself as maybe an equal of hillary. maybe if smp something happens, who knows. this is "hardball," the place for politics. let's talk about dreams and the people who choose to pursue them,
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gearing up to fight hillary clinton if she runs, like everyone expects in 2016 for president. so why wouldn't they? look at the polling out there. hillary clinton, secretary of state got a 60-point lead right now on the democratic side with the number two in that field, now this is interest, joe biden. biden recently joked that his love of driving cars is the one thing that could steer him away from a run at the oval office. he took it a step further today with cnn kate bolduan. >> other than corvettes, give me another good reason why you shouldn't run. >> i can't. there is no obvious reason for me why i think i should not run. >> when you think of it, what biden is doing is basically the benign, very benign variation of what rand paul is doing. it's how a democrat who wants to be president has to confront the
clinton inevitability. is biden mounting a real challenge to hillary clinton then what is he doing? mark halperin is a msnbc political analyst and co-author of double down. sam stein is with "the huffington post" and a msnbc contributor. if you ask vice president biden and he is a regular person and assume you're a regular person, let me ask you this, mark. you would ask him, was there any obvious reason you wouldn't run. and the obvious reason not to run is secretary clinton is beating his butt by 60 points and she'll probably be the nominee. so he ignores the elephant in the room, hillary clinton's inevitableability and said no. why doesn't he say if hillary clinton runs, i'd have to take another look at it. of course she would be a the clear front-runner and of course the usual courtesy. instead he said i can't think of any reason not to run. i can't think of hillary clinton. >> because he loves politics, and he would like to be president, and he is keeping his
options open. i don't think there are any circumstances under which he'll run if she runs. i really don't. but i also have been surprised -- >> why is he leaving that possibility out there, then, by saying i don't see her as an obvious obstacle? >> he has enjoyed being vice president for sure. but there are frustrations. there is a real possibility that this president doesn't get much more momentum going forward as he had last year. and i think joe biden would like to be seen as a powerful figure. as we write again in the book, he floated the possibility after basically saying he would be a cheney-like vice president and wouldn't seek the presidency after president obama's time in office. he then started to float out there through jay carney and others who is keeping all the options open. the more people who think he might run, the more influence he has. i think if she doesn't run, he'll be the strongest of the other candidates, i've been surprised at how weak candidate. i've been surprised at how weak he is and i think he's trying
to -- >> let me go to sam on this. i'll get back to you, mark. i'm amazed with the reality of timing. if, as mark says, biden is waiting until hillary clinton decides, she has no incentive to throw her hat in the wing early. she can wait until way after the midterm elections. in other words, he can't move an inch. she hasn't told him what she's going to do obviously. he has to wait and wait and wait until he decides to run, he has to say, well, i'm not going to run. i think it puts him behind the 8 ball here. a very weird situation where he has to wait for her to make the call before he has to make his call. otherwise embarrassing himself which makes me think he may well start a run and risk humiliation because it's his only option. your thoughts. >> i think you're absolutely right in the analysis. think of the infrastructure he would have to build on a short period of time. not only would he have to build a campaign, he would likely have to get an afa faffiliated super.
that presents a lot of problems. on the flip side, if he were to jump in early, he'd have the pressure of the president against him who doesn't want to lose a vice president, a useful tool in his administration to a campaign. so he's got a lot of things to shuffle here. i happen to think that this is all posture. i think that hethinking of running to maintain power and influence among the democratic lawmakers. i think he'd become weak if he said he wasn't running, this is it, he's a lame duck. that's why you're getting these statements from him. >> listen to what biden said during the next interview. it seemed like a clear shot aimed at hillary's farm policy stance. here's the vice president. >> for me the decision to run or not run is going to be determined by me as to whether i am the best qualified person to focus on the two things i've spent my whole life on. giving ordinary people a fighting chance to make it, and a sound foreign policy that's
based on rational interest in the united states where we not only are known for the power of our military, but the power of our example. >> well, for the record, vice president biden has also said that hillary's decision will not affect whether he runs or not. but there you have it, mark, i like to read things in when i'm hearing them said. he seemed to be taking a dovish position vis-a-vis hillary clinton who most people see as a lot more hawkish and the president and more hawkish than this guy, the vice president. is he positioning himself to the left of hillary clinton bay saying he's basically not for wars, he's for the other way around, in fact, he's more dovish like the president? >> look, she's been hawkish on some issues, chris, as you say. she's a champion of diplomacy and soft power and the world. i'm happy to parse anything joe biden says. in this case, i don't think that was meant to be a shot at her. one thing we haven't discussed is big intervening event which is the midterms. she'll campaign i think some for candidates. he will have a very robust
schedule. every time he's out there, he's going to get a fingertip feel for what country is thinking about him and talking to other democratic candidates. he's also very goods friend with hillary clinton. i think he'll have a better window. >> i know he is. >> into what she'll do. >> she didn't tell him at the meal they had together a couple weeks ago. i know you guys report this stuff like hell, thalt she didnt tell him, didn't give him a heads up. >> she's saying to him what she's saying to people closer to her, she hasn't decided but she's inclined to do it. the midterms could be huge and push him to a digit plafferent s to today, no incentive to challenge her. >> joy thinks she's going to run as a woman and make the first ever the issue. do you think she'll do that overtly or, people know she's a woman. will she run on that issue? >> i don't see why not. remember when the primary, the 2008 primary had ended, she was on the upswing predominantly
because she was finally pitching herself as someone who was going to break the glass ceiling. it was a resonant message. part of the reason that people are a little bit tepid in sorts, they feel she's too calculating, that everything is done with some sort of political calculous in mind. that sort of fit naturally. i think people really gravitated. >> i agree. >> one more thing with biden, if he were to run against clinton, i'm not sure where the divides are. he also supported the iraq war. i'm not sure what his candidacy would be based on if it was against clinton. >> marks, sam, thank you both. we'll be right back. [ girl ] seriously? that's a lot of music. seriously. that's insane. and it's 15 bucks a month for the family. seriously? that's a lot of gold rope. seriously, that's a signature look. you don't have a signature look, honey. ♪ that's a signature look. [ male announcer ] only at&t brings you beats music. unlimited downloads for up to 5 accounts and 10 devices all for $14.99 a month. ♪
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let me finish tonight with where i started. the pattern in this christie matter is now clear. something happens because the governor's office wants it done. then it gets exposed and then the press focuses on it and then it's denied that the governor, himse himself, had anything to do with it. shuts down traffic for four days. the governor months later denies personal knowledge of the issue. the mayor of hoboken says she gets held up for not playing ball on a real estate deal. she says the lieutenant governor delivers the message from the governor which the lieutenant governor later denies. the governor also later denies. the governor's office puts out a memo trashing the man expected to be a star witness against him. a week later, late today, people around the governor put out word that governor, himself, had nothing to do with it. is this governor ever in his
office when all this is going on in his name? or is his main job these days to deny he's doing anything at all that people find offensive? and that's "hardball." for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. it is friday night and we have a great show for you including the creator of "house of cards" and the front-runner for worst boss ever. but first, we have breaking news tonight out of new jersey. okay. on wednesday we brought you news of startling data from fair share housing in new jersey that showed that nearly 8 o% of applicants who were rejected for sandy relief money in the state were found to be eligible upon appeal. that's four out of five people who appealed won their appeal. findings tracked with negative performance reviews, we'd been hearing about a distribn